News and notes from Reston (tm).

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The RA Gets Our Goats, Literally and Figuratively (Updated)

GoatsThere's apparently a new foot soldier in the Reston Association's eternal battle against the scourge of humanity our earth-toned community: invasive plants and vegetation.

Because apparently Weed Warriors and nuking lily pads and Hunger Games-like challenges haven't rid Reston of these noxious plants, the RA is apparently considering renting goats to graze on spots with the hardiest threats to our earth-toned way of life. Give us some good blockquote, BFFs at Reston Now:

Hunters Woods/Dogwood Director Lucinda Shannon approached RA CEO Cate Fulkerson and RA Environmental Resources Manager Claudia Thompson-Deahl earlier this summer, pointing out that Tree Pittsburgh, an environmental nonprofit, recently used goats from Eco-Goats, a company in Maryland, to restore vegetation on a hill in the city. Goats were also used last year to manage invasive plants at Congressional Cemetery in D.C.

Here is how it works: Eco-Goats trucks in several dozen goats to the site. A temporary fence is installed, and goats graze for a few days on the offending plants. Meanwhile, goat droppings make great fertilizer for the return of the native plants, Eco-Goats says.
Goats are able to eat plants that are poisonous to other animals and their mouth structure destroys the seeds of the invasives.
BOOOYAH! Take that, garlic mustard! Your days of crowding out other, non-invasive mustard, are OVER!

But there is, as they say in the movies, a snag. The RA's grand scheme could be hoisted by the very petard that is so often hoisted on us:
Meanwhile, there is an item in the Reston deed that prohibits livestock, but the board and the Design Review Board may be able to get around it with the idea that the goats will be temporary.
Hahahahahaha. The RV in our driveway and the neon fuchsia paint on our window trim? "Temporary."

The RA apparently will discuss the idea this week. We can't wait until we get to cheer on the cheerful, friendly goats from the safe vantage point of the other side of "portable electric net fencing."

And that's just the beginning! In a RESTONIAN WORLD EXCLUSIVE, we have learned that along with improving the physical landscape, the goats may make equal contributions to Reston's cultural landscape. Ladies and gentlemen, we give you the opening event of the 2015 Center Stage Season:

We've seen worse.

Update: Very, very sad news -- our BFFs at Reston Now tell us that the RA has nixed the goat idea. Score one for the invasive English ivy.


  1. Maybe RA was baaaaashful? Seriously, I've seen goats in action. They'd do a beautiful clean-up. Now, if they'd just eat politicians.

  2. Peasant From Less Sought After South RestonSeptember 9, 2014 at 10:29 PM

    No goats? No kid-ding?

  3. This is the best video ever.

  4. RA nixed the goat-to solution? They should feel sheepish.

  5. Reston should try the goat simulator to see how well the real-life goats would work.

  6. While I won't chew on the ivy, I will offer to fertilize the side of that hill.

    Hey, RA! Any takers?

  7. I, for one, welcome our new goat overlords.

  8. Now that the RA has 86ed the goats in real life, we'll just have to settle for this:

  9. Actually, goat teams as funny as it sounds, are excellent in removing virtually any kind of overgrowth. Considering what my cluster's landscaper is planning to charge I would love to have these critters do it. It's done all over the country. That said, if it makes sense, RA will refuse it.


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